Thursday, January 15, 2015

There's no explaining

I finished a tricky stitch re-mount from a provisional cast-on and decided to take a break and go grocery shopping. The lady at the checkout tried to get me to chat by asking about the weather and such.

"What does your afternoon look like?" She asked.

I gave her a blank look, a shrug and said, "I'm going to knit."

She sighed and said something about how she took a month to knit a square. I smiled and left. I do have a nice life, but it is hard to explain what I do: knit swatches, write design proposals, knit samples, write patterns.

Swatches can be entertaining as I experiment a lot and have a lot of failures. In the category of can't explain it, I give you "dancers."

Eh, maybe it would work in another gauge. Eh maybe not!

Come to think of it, I can't explain children's book writing either. Oh well, c'est la vie. :-)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Knitting Year

Other than the stuffed toy for my daughter I did knit one gift for my nephew. I had bought two skeins of  The Big Cozy from Knit Picks to try out. I made a nice simple circular cowl off the top of my head.

I only took a couple of quick selfies before wrapping and sending.

It's a bit of a "crazy Auntie" gift but I think my sister likes it. If my nephew doesn't wear it, I think she might, especially when the big cold comes this week.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Happy Almost New Year

I've been busy. But I finished the in-between socks. They even went through one trip in the dryer. (Ooops.)

I've wound up the next skein of sock yarn for my 2015 in-between designing socks but I only have a cast on for them. I have been madly swatching about three different ideas for the latest Knit Picks call. They are asking for "whimsical cute knits." I just had to rise to the occasion!

Here's hoping you all have a good and productive 2015!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Working in Pink

Two months before Christmas I told my daughter I'm not buying her a single toy because you know, Santa is coming. My daughter is very smart. She plopped Rebecca Danger's monster book that I won last year from Knit Picks in front of me reminding me with much sweetness that she had been wanting a monster for some time now.

So she picked Irving. I did some stash diving for some old Icelandic Lopi:

The monster's new name is I-vring!

Pink has been on my mind because I'm working with a pink skein for a headband design for daughter. I hope to have that done soon if I can ever make up my mind on a closure for it.

I've also made some progress on my knit-in-between sock which I'll post soon.

Knitter note: Thank you to all the knitters who are knitting my patterns in this year's Gift-A-Long on Ravelry. It's a joy to see all the lovely projects!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Gift-A-Long 2014 Designer Interview with Karen Dawn

Part of the fun of the Gift-A-Long is that designers are matched with other designers to interview on their blogs. I think it's a gift to me to get to know another designer a little better!

Today Karen Dawn put her needles down long enough to answer a few questions.

Q. What does your design process look like? Do you start with the yarn or the idea?

Lots and lots of graph paper, pencils (regular and colored), and erasers. I usually start with stitch pattern ideas and draw lots of charts for how to combine various designs. Then I do some swatching, where I try out different yarns (if I haven’t already decided on one in particular). I’m learning that this swatching is a great use for all those leftovers bits of yarn from various other projects! Then I draw up a rough chart/pattern and make the sample, taking notes as I go in case I made any changes or discover something different from my original plan as I go.
Q. What is your favorite design so far?
Each new design seems to be my current favorite, but my geek heart does love the Don’t Blink Illusion Scarf. That one took lots of planning (I don’t even know how many times I charted out the
various letters on graph paper!) but I’m thrilled with how it turned out--and even more so to have found a weeping angel statue to use for a photo shoot. (By the way, a matching illusion hat is currently in test knitting.)
Q. Is there a knitting technique that you haven’t tried yet that you would like to explore?
I’ve been a pretty adventurous knitter, trying out different techniques when I see patterns that I want to knit which have a technique I haven’t done before. But I think I’d like to do more with double knitting. I’ve done it a bit already but haven’t finished a project using it and definitely would need to brush up on the technique before trying it again as it’s been a couple of years since I tried it. I’d also love to try the technique where you knit two socks at once, one inside the other (which I think is related to double knitting).
Q. What’s your favorite yarn you’ve ever used?
Favorite I’ve ever used? That’s a tough one. Malabrigo Worsted has a special place in my heart (it was my first non-acrylic yarn) and I still use it frequently. And I love anything madelinetosh. But I think if I had to pick a favorite yarn I’ve ever used so far it would be the JulieSpins Juno (merino/silk) that I used to make a beret (which I then gave to a friend because I just don’t look right in a beret).
Q. What’s the one thing you wish you were knitting right now?
A sweater or cardigan for myself out of some madelinetosh tosh dk in tart that I’ve had in my stash since 2009. That yarn is way too pretty to be sitting around for that long!


Well that's all the questions I have right now. Thanks so much Karen!

I hope everybody is enjoying the Gift-A-Long. The 25% off pattern sale goes through Nov. 21 but the knitting, games, and prizes continues on Ravelry here until the year ends!

See you there.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Calling All Knitters: Gift-A-Long 2014 has begun!

The time has arrived for the second annual Gift-A-Long on Ravelry. It’s even bigger than last year!

To give you a better idea of what it’s about here is an infographic created by a statistical genius:

The sale period is short, Nov 13th at 8pm EST until midnight Nov 21, but the Gift-A-Long party continues until Dec. 31 where you knit or crochet participating designers' patterns and post pictures for love and prizes! There are also games and more prizes. Buckets and buckets of pattern prizes!

I'll be following the chat on the boards and posting an interview of one of the designers. Hope to see you there. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Artist Moment: Free book for a day

Popping in to remind you that you can download, Princess Marta's Garden: The White Rose, to your Kindle or Amazon Cloud Reader for free today only, in memory of Mary Parker. Today was her birthday.